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Today, I wanted us to look at pressing on.
Philippians 3:14 ESV
Phil. 3:4 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Elohim in Messiah Yahshua.”
Paul is writing a letter to the saints at Philippi. Let us get the context of what he is saying here.
Philippians 3:8-16 ESV
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Messiah Yahshua my Lord.
For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Messiah and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Messiah, the righteousness from Elohim that depends on faith— that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Messiah Yahshua has made me His own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Elohim in Messiah Yahshua.
Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, Elohim will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
So, Paul says he counts everything as loss because of the worth of knowing Messiah Yahshua.
From the world’s standpoint, Paul had everything. He was well educated, a Roman citizen, a Pharisee of high ranking in Israel, and many other things he could boast about.
But, he says all that is nothing compared to the worth of knowing Yahshua.
Paul says he wants to know Yahshua and the power of His resurrection, that is living in the power of the Holy Spirit, may share His sufferings, that is living the life He lived and enduring the same consequences Yahshua endured, becoming like Yahshua in His death.
Paul is doing all this so that he may by any means possible attain the resurrection from the dead.
Paul acknowledges that he hasn’t yet been resurrected.
We all know that at the resurrection, all believers will be given a glorified body and they will be perfect in everything.
They won’t have to contend with the flesh, its fleshly thoughts, and temptations.
Paul says he hasn’t yet been resurrected but he is pressing on to make that resurrection possible.
So, Paul is striving, pushing, pressing on to know Yahshua and through that attain glorification or the resurrection from the dead.
Sometimes we believers commit sins, but we must get up and strive ahead, forgetting what’s behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
Paul alludes to this. He says “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Elohim in Messiah Yahshua.”
Paul’s goal is to know Yahshua intimately and by that rise from the dead in a new glorified body. Paul’s goal is intimate knowledge of Yahshua. That is what Paul is pressing toward. That’s what he is striving for.
Now what’s your goal?
Why do you come to church services? What are you doing here at this time of day? What are you trying to get out of this?
Do you come to church services because you have to? Do you come so that you may keep the Law?
It’s a Saturday afternoon, wouldn’t you rather be doing other things than be here? My question to you is ‘why are you here?’
Do you come here because your parents make you come here? Do you come here because your husband or wife comes here?
Do you come here because your family comes here?
Why are you here? What’s your goal for coming here?
Have you ever considered what Yahshua says when He rejects people who claim to believe in Him?
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
“"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”
What about the parable of the 10 virgins that Yahshua talked about? Here are 10 virgins, young women who are betrothed to be married to this man.
Five were wise and five were foolish. All virgins fell asleep. But the wise kept enough oil in their lamps because they didn’t know when the bridegroom would come.
Matthew 25:6-13 ESV
“But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'
And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
The lawless are people who are found not doing the will of the Father.
Though they had done righteous works, later on they merely said, “Lord, Lord,” but they weren’t doing any righteous works, the will of the Father.
The virgins were church people, betrothed, but they fell asleep, fell away, Yahshua later says He never knew them.
The goal for you my brother and my sister is to know Yahshua. You must know Him and He must know you!
That’s the key to getting into Heaven. That’s the key to eternal life. You must know the owner and the owner must know you.
Do you think you can walk into a beautiful mansion in a lovely neighborhood just because you think you deserve to be there?
You see people inside this big mansion, they’re having fun! It must be some type of party or wedding. Do you think you can just walk in and they’ll just let you in?
What’s the key to getting into the mansion? The owner must know you.
Yahweh doesn’t like us boasting about things. But, there is one thing He says we should boast about. To boast is to claim as your strongman, as your greatest strength.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV
“Thus says Yahweh: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am Yahweh who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares Yahweh."”
The reason for being a believer is to know Yahshua.
When you know Yahshua, you become more and more like Him. That’s why we are saved!
Yah willing, Morgan and I are getting married in nine weeks. While we can’t invite everybody we know to the wedding, I tell you the truth, we will not invite anyone we do not know. We must know you to invite you.
Our wedding will last but a day. Now, what about your eternal life?
Isn’t your eternal life worth pressing on to know Yahshua? I mean ask yourself!
Do you know Yahshua? Are you growing in spending time in prayer, listening for His voice, knowing what mission He has for you?
You could ask me, well Jeremy, how do I know that I know Him? How do I know that I am growing in Yahshua.
1 John 2:1-6 ESV
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yashua Messiah the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
We know that we have come to know Yahshua, or we are growing in our knowledge of Yahshua, when we walk in the same way He walked, that is, when we live the same way He lived.
We must keep His commandments. We must obey Him at every turn.
That’s what following means. It’s doing what He tells you. The more you obey Him, the closer you get to Him. The more you get to know Him.
Yahshua is alive. He is the Holy Spirit inside believers. Believers must as a daily practice listen for Yahshua’s voice and be led by Him.
Stop making decisions without asking what Yahshua thinks. Listen for His voice daily.
That’s what Paul was talking about. That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, becoming like Him in His death...
The person who is getting to know Yahshua starts to live the life of Yahshua.
Yahshua’s life was complete obedience to Yahweh and His commandments.
You look like the people you hang out with. If you hang out with Yahshua, you’ll end up looking like Him.
If bad company corrupts good morals, what do you think good company does? What about excellent company, as in company with Yahshua?
The person who is getting to know Yahshua starts to live the life of Yahshua.
Yahshua’s life was complete obedience to Yahweh and His commandments. Are you headed that way?
For some of you folks, we have to encourage you just to keep the Sabbath day, one of the most basic of the commandments. It comes once a week. You don’t have to do very much to keep the Sabbath day.
You can do absolutely nothing all week and just wait for Friday evening to show up, and all you have to do is show up at church services.
Seriously, keeping the Sabbath day as in not doing your own work from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown is not difficult.
But if you’re struggling in that, how are you obeying Yahshua in other things? How are you spending the rest of your week? Are you studying Scripture to get to know Yahshua more? Are you asking for more power of the Holy Spirit?
I mean, what will it be for some people?
If Yahshua rejects you, what will you say? But, I went to church. I went to church on the Sabbath day. I sang songs, I attended church services, and I even preached.
Then, He’ll say, “But where was your heart? Your said and did all those things but your heart was far from Me. Let’s look at your behavior”
- When I asked you to spend more time with me in prayer, what did you say? Oh, I’m too busy.
- When I sent my servants to encourage you to ask me about your spiritual gift, did you bother? No, you never bothered. That wasn’t important to you.
- Did you read my Bible to find out how I wanted you to conform your life? All you did was listen to sermons, attended Bible study, but you never did half the things they preached about.
- You spent years in that church, years, yet you stayed the same.
- You spent more time watching TV than pursuing me.
- You ignored me, pushed me to the side, you always put other things before me, now you want to spend the rest of your life with me, so you can continue to ignore me and push me to the side?
No! I don’t know who you, you are not my sheep, go away!
Getting to know Yahshua means you have to press on, you have to pursue Him, you have to seek Him out, you have to chase after Him.
Listening to Christian music, listening to sermons, listening to Bible study teachings, all these things are good. But these things are passive. You don’t have to do much. You can just sit there and listen.
These things are good but this is not pressing on.
Pressing on is active behavior. Listening to Christian music and listening to sermons is not pressing on. Searching the Scriptures to find out whether what the song is saying or what the sermon is saying, that’s active, that’s pressing on.
Setting time aside just to pray for your Spiritual gift is pressing on. Reading what the Scriptures say and going out and doing it, that’s active behavior, that’s pressing on.
I mean, what do you think made the Bereans more noble than the Thessalonians.
The Bereans were people from Berea. Paul preached to them like he did to many other people. But these Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonians.
What made the Bereans more noble?
Acts 17:10-11 ESV
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.”
Searching the Scriptures to see whether what the sermon is talking about is true, that’s pressing on.
Searching the Scriptures to find out why we keep the Sabbath day, and the feast days when most churches don’t is pressing on.
Searching the Scriptures to find out whether we still need to keep the Law is pressing on.
Yahshua is the Word so the more you know the Word and do the Word the more you get to know Yahshua.
That’s why John says you can’t say you know Yahshua if you don’t obey Yahshua’s commandments. Yahshua is the Word, you obey the Word, you obey the commandments, you get to know Him intimately.
John 14:23 ESV
“Yahshua answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
That’s closeness. That’s intimacy.
If Yahshua shall reject the lawless, what shall He do with the lawful? Shall He not embrace them?
Reading through the Proverbs and doing what they say that’s pressing on.
Pressing on is active. It’s not passive. Taking up your cross and following Yahshua is active. That’s pressing on.
The purpose of the Christian life is to know Yahshua. You can’t know Yahshua by only listening to sermons, attending Bible studies, but not actively pursuing Him during the week.
You need to press on during the week. You need to press on to get to know Yahshua.
You need to get to know Yahshua as Savior and then as Lord and then as Friend.
Then Yahshua will welcome you into His kingdom and you will not be ashamed at all at His coming.
May Yahweh bless His Word.